Monday, July 16 , 2018, 9:42 pm | Fair 66º


Speaking of Stories Rings In New Year with 12th Night Celebration

Hosts Carolyn Butcher and Michael Perry open up their home for the event, featuring a reading by actor Joe Spano of 'The Kitchen Child'

Featured performer and actor Joe Spano with hostess Carolyn Butcher, who opened her home for Speaking of Stories’ 12th Night event. Click to view larger
Featured performer and actor Joe Spano with hostess Carolyn Butcher, who opened her home for Speaking of Stories’ 12th Night event. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Speaking of Stories presented its 12th Night celebration event with a dramatic reading by actor Joe Spano of the short story “The Kitchen Child” in a salon-type setting in host Carolyn Butcher and Michael Perry’s historic home in downtown Santa Barbara.

The mission of Speaking of Stories is to promote the appreciation of literature through live theatrical readings and through educational programs aimed particularly toward at-risk youth.

Made famous by the William Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas season. In Christianity, Twelfth Night is a holiday on Jan. 5 that marks the 12th and final night of the Christmas season.

The Twelve Days of Christmas are the 12 days beginning on the night of Christmas and ending on Epiphany (Jan. 6), where, according to the Bible, the Three Wise Men visited the newly born Jesus and bestowed their gifts.

In the Middle Ages, this December period was one of continuous feasting and merrymaking, which climaxed on Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the Christmas season celebrated with the fun, frivolity and feast before embarking on the new year.

This certainly was the case for the Speaking of Stories event. The long dining room table was laden with delicious hors d’oeuvres and delectable desserts with a traditional Wassail cake placed at the table’s center. The raisin and apple rich cake was enjoyed after the performance.

Speaking of Stories executive director Teri Bolt with founder Steve Gilbar.
Speaking of Stories executive director Teri Bolt with founder Steve Gilbar. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

The interior courtyard served as the wine bar and conversation area, which also had heaters provided to ward off the evening’s chill and occasional raindrops. Luc Bonhomme from Carlsbad-based Loire Valley Wines poured a variety of French wines.

After the social hour, the program began in the beautiful living room with nearly 70 guests seated “salon style” to hear the reading by Spano.

In keeping with the 12th Night theme, the crowd joined together in singing the 1850 English tune “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” which got everyone the New Year’s holiday spirit. The song was led by vocalist Yvonne Bazinet, who also performed a closing song.

Artist director Maggie Mixsell selected the humorous story “The Kitchen Child” by author Angela Carter, which had an appreciative audience chuckling throughout the reading by the talented Spano.

“We have two great shows coming up on Jan. 22 and 23,” executive director Teri Ball told Noozhawk. “We start our 2017 season with ‘Nothing But Laughs,’ which features a reading by renowned actress Meredith Baxter.

“The following Saturday, Jan. 28, we have ‘Breakfast with Smartasses,’ a co-production with Dramatic Women, a reading of five new plays by five sassy women!”

The 2017 season includes five shows scheduled for Jan. 22-23, Feb. 26-27, March 26-27, April 23-24 and May 21-22.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets, or call 805.963.0408.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

The living room provided a salon-like setting for the event and Joe Spano’s reading. Click to view larger
The living room provided a salon-like setting for the event and Joe Spano’s reading. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >